bit of each really, we'd been listen to a lot more electronic and ambient music but we'd also started playing to much older seated crowds that we didn't feel that connected too. So when we made the last album there was definitely an attempted to move our music away from those audiences and venues towards a younger vibeier crowd. We started pushing the bottom end much harder and used a lot of electronic kicks and drums to toughen up the sound, treated the sax quite heavily and started incorporating synthesisers.
Yea, that tune came together very quickly, was very easy. It did feel like a big move as we'd always had the top lines on sax but changing the textures and instrumentation around was something we were aiming for because of the reasons above. The album we're working on at the moment features vocalists quite heavily and making that tune gave us a bit of confidence to move down that path.
Its just that the production was getting so integrated to the sound. A lot of the effects are done through effects pedals, I think a lot of what sounds like studio production stuff was actually done live. But yea it was important that we did it on the latest album as it was such a part of our sound.
It’s a bit of an internal debate. I really like playing smaller more intimate venues, i think 300 it the perfect size for our music and that its not always about doing bigger gigs, I think there’s an intimacy to our music that gets lost on a bigger stage. There is something to playing on big systems, especially if the bottom ends really good, that you can't get at smaller venues, its a much more physically experience I suppose.
The crowds now are a lot younger and much more lively. It more cheering and head nodding than polite clapping toe tapping.
Part of our revamp with the latest and in this new album we're working on has been to reduce the role of improvisation as solos and move more towards a group improvisation. We've improvising with texture more than virtuosic lines
We'll hopefully the new album will come out at some point next year. We've made about half of it so far, there’s a lot more collaborative stuff on it and not much sax, it will sound quite different from anything we've done before.
By George Townsend
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'Ruins' by Portico Quartet.